Category Archives: Pipeline Route

June 15 Deadline for Comments to DEQ

Because the Department of Environmental Quality Web site was offline between May 22, 2018, and June 1, 2018, the new deadline for submitting comments on the adequacy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers NWP 12 program for stream crossings of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline is Friday, June 15, 2018.

This means you can continue to send your comments to DEQ! The email addresses for comments are:

You must reference specific water bodies in your comments.   Friends of Nelson has posted the chart of ACP crossings here

For additional instructions, suggestions on what to say, and postal addresses for comments, see our earlier posts on:

The Science Is Missing

Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition has issued a new report:  The Agency Has No Records . . . DEQ’s Failure to Use Sound Science to Protect Virginian’s from Pipeline Threats

The report describes the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s responses to a series of records requests DPMC filed in the last two months to discover what evidence DEQ has to support its claims that a Corps of Engineers permit will protect Virginia waters where the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline propose to dig and blast through streams and wetlands.

In nearly every case, DEQ was forced to admit it had no such records, showing that it has not applied the most basic scientific protocols to ensure these waterbody crossings can meet Virginia water quality standards. Administration officials have told the Governor, the State Water Control Board, and the public that it has conducted certain investigations and analyses. However, the results of our information requests refute those claims and show promises that Virginia is relying on science to make decisions have been empty.

Reviews of polluting projects should and generally do include:

  • examination of past projects in Virginia where regulatory requirements were imposed, to see if our waters were fully protected,
  • examination of findings from other localities and from the scientific literature,
  • application of those findings to circumstances present in our waters, and
  • analyses of specific evidence pertinent to the particular cases where decisions are required.
DEQ says it applied these methods – the evidence says otherwise.

See the full report:  The Agency Has No Records . . . DEQ’s Failure to Use Sound Science to Protect Virginian’s from Pipeline Threats

History, Health at Stake in Buckingham County

An Appalachian Voices June 4, 2018 Front Porch Blog post, History, Health at Stake in Buckingham County, discusses what is at stake for the residents of Union Hill in Buckingham County, threatened by the Atlantic Coast pipeline. “Both Dominion and FERC, which has approved the project, have essentially ignored the deep history of the community, founded by freedmen and still predominantly African-American. This cultural ‘erasure,’ as anthropologist Lakshmi Fjord describes it, is nothing short of racist.”

See also the excellent People in the Path of Pipelines series, where residents along the routes share their stories of their land and their water at risk.

MVP Sued for Erosion Damage

The Roanoke Times reported on May 30, 2018, that “Six Franklin County landowners are suing Mountain Valley Pipeline“, claiming their property was damaged by the company’s failure to control storm water runoff from a construction site. “Mountain Valley has shown a ‘startling disregard’ for the impacts of building a natural gas pipeline on its neighbors, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. After heavy rains that started May 15, a swath of bare land that crews had cleared for the pipeline’s right of way became a channel for erosion, covering nearby Cahas Mountain Road with about 8 inches of mud.”

The plaintiffs’ suit states that inadequate erosion control caused a blanket of sediment and muddy water to swamp hay fields and make its way into nearby streams on their properties. “The landowners are asking a judge to do what they say state regulators have not: order a stop to construction until Mountain Valley has taken steps to ensure that the next heavy rain will not unleash another mudslide.”

Although the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality temporarily halted construction, there has been no formal stop-work order, and construction was allowed to resume on May 22.

MVP refused to comment on the lawsuit. DEQ and Mountain Valley officials have said none of the sediment had reached nearby Little Creek or other streams. However, the article reports, “That assertion was challenged by the lawsuit, which cited an email from DEQ employee Elizabeth Abe to one of her colleagues. Abe described a stream along nearby Brick Church Road ‘so choked with mud that no water was flowing,’ according to the lawsuit. The email also reported that Abe saw no erosion control devices installed at the worksite.”

Read the full article here.